Childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years across the United States and here in our community. In an effort to address this major health issue, the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation recently awarded Crouse Hospital a $10,000 grant to expand nutrition education activities at Hughes Elementary School in Syracuse.
The grant provides funding for a monthly after-school program called Healthy Habits at Hughes, which educates parents and children on how to move in the direction of better eating, specifically by using portion control and adding more fruits and vegetables to their daily diet.
The most recent wellness program occurred March 8 as part of the school’s annual math and literacy night, which attracted nearly 150 parents and students. As part of the evening’s learning activities, families were treated to a healthy dinner including low-fat, fresh ingredients prepared by Crouse Hospital’s very own Chef Todd Corcoran and assistant Mary Alice Mundy, who were joined by volunteer servers Betsy and Lauren Smith, David Stout and Alec Neider.
At the same time, parents and school staff – including Syracuse City School District Superintendent Sharon Contreras – received free heart health screenings from Crouse’s nursing health outreach team members Sue LeRoy; Lorie LaDue; Gemma Lawrence-Atkins; Cindy Bane; Cathy Wolf; Anne Milewski-Craner and Bobbi Burgess. Thanks also to Maureen Fauler and Scarlett Sampsell for staffing the Crouse nutrition education displays, and to SU student volunteer Marsha Mosher. Special thanks to our friends at Wegmans for their support of this program.
Pictured above: Syracuse City School District Superintendent Sharon Contreras gets her blood glucose tested by Crouse Hospital’s Sue LeRoy, a member of our community health outreach team. Below: Each student at Hughes received a special placemat designed to help reinforce healthy eating habits.